Sinking infection rates enable degree of re-opening

President's circular to all employees and students

Dear students,
Dear colleagues,

With continuously decreasing infection rates, the district of Tübingen has had a stable 7-day incidence of less than 100 for more than a week. This means that the government’s Coronavirus “emergency brake” no longer applies here. This means that the University’s primary guidelines now are those issued by the Baden-Württemberg state government. The current Coronavirus rules allow for further, cautious steps towards re-opening.

On-campus classes

For studies and teaching, the principle continues to apply that classes should be held online whenever possible. Exceptions have long been made for classes with a high practical component (such as laboratory practicals/ dissection courses). Classes for students in the first three semesters can be held on campus again from May 31 (after the Whitsun break). Applications were made for this category of courses prior to the start of summer semester 2021 and were approved via the Faculty Deans’ Offices; re-application is not necessary. I ask teachers who wish to make use of this option to inform their students accordingly.

Due to the current legal situation, it is now also possible to hold regular classes for students who are about to graduate or who are preparing for examinations relevant to their degree. Teachers who are currently holding courses for such students and would like to switch to attendance mode in whole or in part are requested to apply to their Faculty. In all cases, I strongly urge students and staff to be regularly tested for Coronavirus prior to attending classes.

Libraries – Registration for workspaces

Since Tuesday, May 25, it has been possible to book time slots for workspaces in the University Library (Wilhelmstr. 32, PCB-Bibliothek Morgenstelle) directly at the entrance. Upon entering the UB, you register via the traffic light system for the time slot currently in progress. Booking in advance is not required. You must have a library card. Two fixed time slots are available for the use of the work spaces: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 1:05 pm to 7:30 pm. At the end of the time slots, the work spaces must be vacated and the University Library will be cleared.

Presentation of a rapid test, vaccination or proof of convalescence is not required under § 15 para. (1) no. 3 in conjunction with § 16 para. (1) CoronaVO.

This change does not affect the access modalities for the Manuscript Reading Room or the University Archives – please continue to book work spaces in these via the appointment booking system of the Manuscript Reading Room. Information on access to the decentralized subject libraries is available on the library websites.

Further relaxation of access to libraries is expected as soon as the 7-day incidence in Tübingen district is below 50. In this case, we will inform you promptly.

BAföG for students

Another note for students who receive BAföG: Summer semester 2021 is not included in the calculation of the standard period of study used as the basis for the maximum duration of BAföG funding. Further information at: https://mwk.baden-wuerttemberg.de/de/hochschulen-studium/studium/studigipfel-2021/

Hygiene rules remain in place

I remind you that the established infection prevention rules at the University still apply, even if you have recently tested negative, are fully vaccinated, or have had the Coronavirus. Please maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from all other persons, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and wear a medical mask both inside and near all University buildings. Continue to ensure regular and thorough ventilation when working indoors. For all in-person courses, the names and contact information of participants must be recorded. The same applies to examinations and events in the context of admission procedures, such as entrance tests.

Planning for winter semester

For the winter semester, we assume that vaccinations will have progressed so far that the variety of campus life can return. We want at least some regular interactive in-person classes to resume, so please plan for on-campus classes. We hope that our classes can be held without the need for social distancing – but possibly with face masks, depending on the risk.

We all hope to have overcome the third wave of the pandemic as early as possible so that we can regain a degree of normality and, above all, a return to regular studies. However, we also know that setbacks cannot be ruled out as the Coronavirus mutates. It is therefore essential to continue to exercise the necessary caution and to share the responsibility for our own health and that of our fellow human beings. Help us to successfully overcome the pandemic.

Best wishes for the rest of the semester – and stay healthy!

Professor Dr. Bernd Engler